Media Statement: NZ Mountain Safety Council - Mike Daisley
NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC)
21 March 2019
That the accused was able to inflict so much harm in such a short time as a licensed firearm user with an easily modified semi-automatic rifle is deeply troubling and must be kept in mind as we discuss as a community how and when these kinds of firearms are appropriate.
I’d like to clarify the MSC’s position on a number of points that are important to add to the national discussion about the relevance of MSSA’s and Semi-Automatic firearms in New Zealand.
With respect to recreational hunting, a safe and successful hunt in New Zealand does not require the use of MSSA’s or semi-automatics as there are several suitable alternatives such as bolt-action rifles and break-action shotguns. While these manual configurations may be less convenient than semi-automatics, they are perfectly suitable for the kinds of hunting available in New Zealand and have a long history of use here that continues to this day.
With respect to banning MSSA’s in New Zealand, MSC supports this proposal as the potential harm to the community, made possible from this style of firearm, far outweighs any perceived or actual benefits to a small group of enthusiasts.
With respect to farm management, pest control and organised culling operations there are some valid benefits to using semi-automatic firearms for this type of work.
We support the review being undertaken by the Government and hope that a solution can be found to ensure this kind of incident isn’t able to happen in Aotearoa ever again.